• Lea Binta Kjelgaard
The Baptist Union of Denmark (BUD) is a church organization which consists mainly of volunteers, with only a few paid employees. Volunteers are also involved with the international projects of BUD, which are concerned with rehabilitation and development, taking place in countries like Burundi and Rwanda, among others. The need for volunteers means that BUD must work hard to structure and organize the volunteers and their activities, while simultaneously ensuring that the volunteers feel motivated and dedicated to BUD and its projects. In order to examine how BUD systematizes volunteering without killing the motivation of their volunteers, this thesis studies the organizational structure of BUD and how this structure influences the motivations of the volunteers involved with BUD. Tom Burns and G. M. Stalker’s theory of organizational management, as well as Clary et al.’s theory of motivations of volunteers form the theoretical framework used to analyze the data, which consists of various internal documents from BUD regarding its international projects, Steve Corbett and Brian Fikkert’s “When Helping Hurts – How to Alleviate Poverty Without Hurting the Poor or Yourself” as well as two interviews with previous international volunteers.
This thesis arrives at the conclusion that BUD applies an organic management structure so as to ensure the motivation of their international volunteers, creating dedicated and committed volunteers. The motivational functions found at BUD are based on values and beliefs through the shared Christian faith, as well as being held in high social regard as a volunteer involved with BUD. BUD also ascribes a high degree of freedom and autonomy to its international volunteers, creating ample opportunity of attaining new learning experiences and implementing skills that might otherwise go unused. The freedom and autonomy of the projects also provide the opportunity for maintaining a positive mood through the self-growth and personal development that is taking place. As the international volunteers often have accompanying families with them, ensuring that the whole family is motivated is very important, seeing as the work is very taxing and demanding – not only for the volunteer, but for the volunteer’s family as well. Since there is no set work time and no regular office hours, the flexibility of the work results in a lifestyle where work, leisure time and family time all melt into one. The personal development offers a lot of experience the volunteer can use in a subsequent career path, but apart from the personal development and experience, the overall emphasis of BUD and its projects is on altruism rather than more egotistic reasons for volunteering. The very altruistic and demanding environment for the volunteer and accompanying family produces very dedicated and committed volunteers.

Key words: volunteerism, voluntariness, volunteer, NGO, Baptist Union of Denmark, organizational management, motivational functions, development
Publication date30 May 2018
Number of pages41
ID: 280148991